I attended the Aspinall Operations Meeting held here in Grand Junction on April 26th. The purpose of operation meetings-- held in January, April, and August-- is to gather input for determining upcoming operations for Blue Mesa, Morrow Point, and Crystal Reservoirs. This input is used in Reclamation’s development of specific operations for the Aspinall Unit. Operation of the Aspinall Unit considers projected inflows to its reservoirs, hydropower needs, flood control needs, existing water rights, minimum instream flows, target elevations for reservoirs, flow needs for endangered fish and other resources, recreation, and other factors. In addition, the meetings are used to coordinate activities and exchange information among agencies, water users, and other interested parties concerning the Gunnison River. Dan Kowalski of the CDOW had a flow request to conduct his annual fish survey in the Gorge the first week of April. The Gunnison Basin snow pack is only 57% of average and dropping so the runoff could be minimal. Flows through the Black Canyon will continue to be around 500 cfs until later in June unless the basin receives significant moisture. No peak flow will occur under the current forecast.
~ Pat Oglesby